“Nine Parts of Desire,” “Sex and Destiny,” “Intimate Adversaries,” “Sexual Personae,” “The Sex of Things…”
All these titles warrant a second glance. It seems the shelves of Gender & Women’s Studies are filled with highly controversial, even erotic content. As I skim through the titles, trying not to discredit any based on my initial “ick” factor upon considering anyone else’s opinion on sex, I hear the shrill laughter of two men. They look like they are teenagers, trying to embody the spirit of the ’60s, but since they can’t possibly keep alive an ideal they have no concept of other than “live and let live,” they’ve resigned their activism to sharing weed with their friends and decorating themselves with hemp.
What’s left to fight for, they might wonder, beyond legalizing pot? Unfortunately for me, beside the shelves of Gender Studies books is a shelf dedicated to “sociology…” particularly tattoos and illegal drugs. I briefly wonder if there is some sort of feminist agenda at work here: Place the books that appear to promise naughty disclosures of the female anatomy where men, if they’re high enough, might venture to pick them up.
I wonder if my new stoner friends will be fooled and subtly move away, to a rack of audiobooks I have no interest in, knowing that the privacy might leave them more at ease to display their true natures.
They spend a frustrating amount of time flipping through books like “Build This Bong,” “Reefer Madness,” and “The Psychotropic Mind.” They really think they’re on to something, enlightened by nature into an obsessive dependence on their drugs to keep their minds ever open, ever vulnerable to the next cathartic state when they realize, with striking clarity and conviction, how blind they’ve been to the 27 essential differences between jam and jelly.
I listen to them discuss this dull epiphany and decide I’m ready to leave. My friends will not be fooled. They will never even walk away from their weed and body art shelf. It’s likely that they will grow roots and stay there until their high wears off, maybe even until that distant, unforeseeable day when books like “Sex & Destiny” won’t even need to be written.
I turn and walk on my way, daydreaming that by the time the stoners are out of their archaic trance, the Gender Studies shelf will be an antiquated thing of the past. The books will become fossilized and replaced by others celebrating a victory and touching on its colorful past of struggle and oppression. While I’m at it, I decide to include world peace and the elimination of dangers to animals and the environment. I don’t care if pot is legal.